Like many Cornellians, the men’s tennis team traveled to Florida last week during break. However, unlike most others the squad was there to work, playing in three brutally close matches under the Florida sun, going 1-2 for the trip.
The Red was expecting a tough battle going into the trip.
“We knew all three schools were going to be very tough … but we all fought hard and played well,” said sophomore Scott Paltrowitz.
In the first of the matches, on March 19, the Red succumbed to Florida Atlantic 4-2. The Owls opened by winning the doubles point, and despite strong victories by classmates Zach Gallin and Paltrowitz, Cornell’s first and fifth singles players respectively, the Red lost its matches at positions two through four, giving the Owls the four matches they needed to clinch the victory. The sixth singles match featuring Matt Cherner-Ranft of Cornell and Ernest Diaz of Florida Atlantic was not finished for this reason.
The Red fared much better a day later against Barry University.
Avenging a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the same squad a year ago, Cornell won this time by the same score. Unlike the previous day, the Red started off by taking the doubles point.
Paltrowitz, Stefan Paulovic and Mike Schapplig won at the three, four and six positions. Paulovic was the only one extended to a final set, which he won going away 6-0.
In the final match of the road swing, Cornell lost a heartbreaker, 4-3, to Stetson University. Like the previous day, the team won three of the six singles matches. The breakdown was even the same as the previous day as Cornell won at three, four and six and lost at one, two and five. Unfortunately for the Red, they failed to secure the doubles point this time, as the Hats took all three doubles matches to win the point.
The 1-2 week brings the squad, ranked No. 66 in the country prior to the Stetson loss, to a 13-3 record. Despite the two close losses, the Red’s ability to brave the sunny conditions and play all three Florida schools tough bodes well for the remainder of the season.
“You always want to win and [going 1-2] was not necessarily what we wanted but we’re definitely not disappointed.” said Paltrowitz of the road swing.
Cornell next takes on Columbia, at 2:00 on Saturday at the Reis Tennis Center. The match will mark the beginning of seven straight games against Ivy League foes. The Red finished last year tied for fifth in the Ivy League, and with a strong start heading into the stretch run, will look to improve upon that mark this season.
Archived article by Andrew Bernie